On the 23rd of November 2018, one of GCIC’s cohort 2 entrepreneurs, Black Star Energy, ranked 2nd from a pool of 432 projects from 24 countries in the EDF Pulse Africa competition. The competition identifies and supports African innovators committed to growing Africa’s energy sector.
Black Star Energy is a developer, owner, and operator of solar-powered off -grids. Through their services, formerly off-grid communities now have access to electricity that is affordable, reliable and scalable to meet every household and commercial need. In addition to serving rural communities, Black Star Energy also provide off-grid electricity to health clinics – enabling them to provide better care for their patients-with vaccines fridges, ultrasounds and lab equipment. The company already operates 15 of them in Ghana and aims to connect more than 12 000 Ghanaians to the grid by the end of the year. The system has a very high capability factor (over 98%) and allows clients to track their energy usage and pay their bills via smartphone.
The prize-winners were awarded endowments ranging from 5 000 to 15 000 Euros. EDF Pulse Africa also gave the winners a comprehensive support package including:
- Operational and financial advice;
- Project development partnerships with local players such as Energy Generation (a Togo-based incubator and training centre dedicated to start-ups in the energy sector) and with EDF experts, including its subsidiary EDF Pulse Croissance;
- Access to EDF’s innovation ecosystem: EDF’s R&D function and creativity labs.
About EDF Pulse Africa: a unique initiative
EDF is actively developing low-carbon energy solutions in Africa while continuing to provide the continent with access to electricity. With its EDF Pulse Africa awards, EDF is seeking to drive entrepreneurship in Africa and achieve two goals:
- Identifying potential partners by unearthing the continent’s technological talents;
- Supporting innovation by involving local businesses in the development of innovative offerings.
The EDF Pulse Africa initiative follows on from the EDF Pulse awards which, since they were launched in 2012, have already helped to spotlight and support 1500 innovative projects developed by start-ups in France, the UK and Italy.
The Ghana Climate Innovation Centre (GCIC) is a pioneering business incubator whose objective is to support entrepreneurs and ventures involved in developing profitable and locally appropriate solutions to climate change mitigation and adaptation in Ghana. The Centre’s key focus is on building businesses operating within the areas of energy efficiency, domestic waste management, solar energy, water supply management and purification and climate-smart agriculture. GCIC is part of the World Bank Group’s infoDev Climate Technology Program. Supported by the governments of Denmark and the Netherlands, the Centre is managed by a consortium led by the Ashesi University College and including Ernst & Young, SNV Ghana, and the United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa.